First Grade Sight Word Worksheets and Free Printables

Is your first grader struggling because the process of reading is so slow and frustrating? Learning sight words can help first graders be able to read faster and more confidently, which makes reading more fun. These first grade sight word worksheets will help you make reading fun for your child.

Free printable first grade sight words plus fun activity ideas
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What are First Grade Sight Words?

Sight words are words that a child can read by sight, without needing to sound the word out first. There are two types of sight words.

High-frequency words, or decodable words, are words that follow the regular rules of phonics. These are the most common words that appear most often in books. A child could sound these words out, but it might be faster and easier to memorize them.

Irregular words don’t follow the rules of the English language and aren’t decodable. This means that they are more difficult words that a child couldn’t sound them out even if they wanted to. These words must be memorized.

Why Do First Graders Need to Learn Sight Words?

Memorizing sight words is important for every child who is learning to read. There are many benefits to memorizing sight words, including:

  • Makes reading faster and easier
  • Gives kids more confidence and makes reading more fun
  • Helps kids be able to read on their own, independently

Kids need a solid foundation of common sight word knowledge, coupled with strong phonics instruction as well, to become good readers. Kids should learn to read using both sight words and phonics.

Mom and son reading first grade sight words in a book

First Grade Sight Word Lists

Dolch Sight Words List

The Dolch Sight Word list is commonly used for teaching sight words. The full list includes 220 words. These words cover 80% of the words found in picture books and 50% of the words in all literature. There is a word list for each grade level from preschool through 2nd grade and an extra list of the 95 most common nouns.

Dolch Words for First Grade

The Dolch word list for first grade includes 41 high frequency and irregular sight words. They are, in alphabetical order:

after, again, an, any, as, ask, by, could, every, fly, from, give, going, had, has, her, him, his, how, just, know, let, live, may, of, old, once, open, over, put, round, some, stop, take, thank, them, then, think, walk, were, when

Grab a Free Printable List of the Dolch Sight Words for First Grade Here!

These printable worksheets will make teaching first grade sight words fun and easy!

Dolch Sight Word Lists

These sight word lists will make it easy to teach Dolch sight words in your homeschool. This pack comes with bonus checklists and flashcards for each level as well! All the words for preschool through 3rd grade are included, so you can use this resource with multiple kids- or save it to use again and again!

Fry Sight Words

The Fry sight word list was created as an updated version of the Dolch Words. The lists include 1000 commonly used words, divided into groups of 100. The groups are not divided by grade level, so kids can work through them at their own pace.

Kids who memorize the Fry sight words will know 90% of the words in the books they read.

Fry Words for First Grade

The second Fry sight words list includes 100 basic sight words. They are:

after, again, air, also, America, animal, another, answer, any, around, ask, away, back, because, before, big, boy, came, change, different, does, end, even, follow, form, found, give, good, great, hand, help, here, home, house, just, kind, know, land, large, learn, letter, line, little, live, man, me, means, men, most, mother, move, much, must, name, need, new, off, old, only, our, over, page, picture, place, play, point, put, read, right, same, say, sentence, set, should, show, small, sound, spell, still, study, such, take, tell, things, think, three, through, too, try, turn, us, very, want, well, went, where, why, work, world, years

Create Your Own First Grade Sight Word List

Many families find that it can be helpful to create their own list of sight words by combining the Dolch and Fry lists. They might also add in some extra words as they appear in books their kids are reading.

How many sight words should a first grader know?

The Dolch Sight Word lists for preschool, kindergarten, and first grade include a total of 133 commonly used words. By the end of first grade, your child might know around 130 sight words or more.

It is important to keep in mind that kids develop reading skills at different rates. If your child is ahead or behind at the end of first grade, this is not a reason to panic. Just make sure to concentrate on including sight word activities in your homeschool.

Child working on First Grade Sight Word Worksheets

Tips for Teaching First Grade Sight Words

Teaching reading, including sight words, is an important part of homeschooling. These tips will make it easier.

When Should I Start Sight Words with my Child?

It is important that kids start reading by learning about phonics first. Kids should understand the concept of blending sounds to make words before introducing any sight words.

What Order Should I Teach the Sight Words?

When learning sight words in first grade, it is a good idea to teach the words in order of frequency, so that kids learn the words that appear most often in books that they are reading first.

How Many Sight Words Should My Child Learn at Once?

Kids can learn 1st grade sight words in small groups. It can be helpful to introduce a few words at a time, then take some time to practice these words before adding new ones. It is also important to review words that your child has already learned throughout the year.

Are Sight Words Enough to Help My Child Learn to Read?

Just memorizing sight words is not enough to help your child become a strong reader. Lots of research shows that kids learn to read best when they memorize sight words in combination with a strong phonics-based reading program. You can learn more about sight words vs phonics here.

Helpful Products for Learning First Grade Sight Words

Sight Word Strategies

One of the best ways to teach sight words to first graders is with fun games and activities. Here are a few ideas to include in your lesson plans that will help kids complete sight word practice in a creative way.

Memory: Spread out sight word cards face down on the table. Play concentration by taking turns turning over 2 cards and trying to create a match. Whoever collects the most pairs of sight words is the winner. To add a challenge, write some of the cards with a missing letter and ask your child to fill in the letter that is missing.

Word Find: See if your child can find their Dolch words in picture books or magazines. You can even use a catalog or piece of junk mail for this. Try asking your child to circle the words that they find.

Sight Word Pancakes: This is one of my favorite fun word games. Write your child’s sight word on brown circles of paper. Call out a sight word and ask your child to use a spatula to “flip” the corresponding pancake. Up the difficulty level with an extra challenge by asking your child to use the word in a simple sentence as well.

Pool Noodle Word Building: Cut foam pool noodles into pieces and write a letter on each piece. Slide the letters onto a dowel to build sight words from your word wall. This can also be played as a small group game by challenging teams to build words together.

Sight Word Path: Spread out your child’s sight word flashcards along the floor to make a path. Ask your child to walk from one end of the path to the other, stepping only on the cards. Spread out the cards to make a fun physical challenge while practicing high frequency words!

Be sure to check out my huge list of fun ways to practice sight words at home. By implementing these fun sight words learning activities for extra practice, your child will be on his way to becoming a great reader at an early age!

First grader reading book with lots of sight words

Tips for Success with First Grade Sight Words

Make Practice Fun

Using engaging hands-on activities and active games is a great way to help your child enjoy learning new sight words. And science says that kids will learn better and remember more when they are enjoying what they are learning.

Be Patient

Like any other skill, learning to read takes time. Make sure that your practice sessions are short and be patient with your child. They will remember more the more they practice.

Be Consistent

It is important to practice sight words regularly so that kids will remember what they are learning. It is much better to practice for a few minutes each day than to have one or two marathon practice sessions. Your patience will pay off as your child’s reading fluency improves and they become a more confident reader.

Sight words are an important part of teaching kids how to read. When you practice sight words with your kids regularly, they will become better readers as they gain confidence and fluency with sight words.

Free Printable List of First Grade Sight Words

This PDF file includes a printable list of the First Grade words, a checklist you can use to keep track of which words your child knows, and a set of Dolch First Grade Sight Words flash cards to help you practice with your child!

Dolch Sight Word Lists

These sight word lists will make it easy to teach Dolch sight words in your homeschool. This pack comes with bonus checklists and flashcards for each level as well! All the words for preschool through 3rd grade are included, so you can use this resource with multiple kids- or save it to use again and again!

Sight Word Lists for Other Grades

Grab a printable pack of free teaching resources for each grade here:

Preschool

Kindergarten

Second Grade

Third Grade

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